Having already experienced heavy rains in 2009, in Sainte Maximime and Cogolin on 18 September and 22 October respectively, the
Department of the Var was hit by major flooding in 2010 which threw plans for the forthcoming tourist season into turmoil.
Given its extensive tree cover, forest fires are the department’s main concern (the Var is mainland France’s second-most wooded Department after the Landes), especially since the immense forest fires of 2003 in the Massif des Maures.
During the night of 14 to 15 June there was a downpour that continued all day on the 15th. While all the department’s river catchments were affected (Grappeau, Préconil, Giscle, etc.), the Nartuby River, a tributary of the Argens, saw the bulk of the rain. The Dracény district in Draguignan paid the highest price where surface runoff and rivers bursting their banks led to death and destruction.
These events marked the start of a decade of frequent major floods (2011, 2014, 2018 and 2019), similar to past events in the local area in 1929, 1933 and 1934, albeit falling short of the historic floodwater levels reached on 6 July 1827.
Tourism, a key economic activity in the local area, was significantly affected.
Many tourism facilities, especially highly vulnerable campsites and holiday chalets were badly hit.